Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre is a veritable training “adventure”

Interior of the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre at 8 Wing Trenton prior to opening. DCC contracted for and managed the construction of this specialized training centre, where CAF members learn skills associated with parachuting, Arctic operations, mountain operations and helicopter operations.

Interior of the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre at 8 Wing Trenton prior to opening. DCC contracted for and managed the construction of this specialized training centre, where CAF members learn skills associated with parachuting, Arctic operations, mountain operations and helicopter operations.

With six-storey climbing walls, mock storm sewers, a mock elevator shaft, a four-storey “building-within-a-building,” and a multitude of rappelling surfaces, the new Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre (CAAWC) is a veritable adventure, with a very serious objective.

The $36.5-million training facility at 8 Wing Trenton, inaugurated in July 2015, is 3,000 m2 bigger than the old centre and equips elite soldiers and paratroopers to train for desert, jungle and cold weather operations. It even includes a mock skydiving suspension system.

About 1,000 elite soldiers a year will pass through the building for parachutist-related courses, aerial delivery, mountain operations, rappelling, patrol pathfinder, and all parachute rigger qualifications.

The Canadian Armed Forces Skyhawks parachute team will also train there.

“This new state-of-the-art building, designed with input from members of the Canadian Armed Forces, will help ensure our interoperability in a variety of training and operational settings,” says the centre’s commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel François Dufault.

Lead DCC construction coordinator for the project, Dan Heslinga, says aside from contributing to the operational effectiveness of the Canadian Armed Forces, the centre was the most fascinating project he’s ever worked on.

“I can’t imagine constructing a building like this, for a client like this, anywhere else in Canada,” says Heslinga.

“The CAAWC project was literally about creating an advanced Army training centre with every configuration you can imagine, to help these elite soldiers train. The better trained our soldiers are, the more capable they are, which can only be good for Canada. It was very rewarding being a part of that outstanding project.”


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